Monday, October 6, 2008

Andhra CM YSR Reddy unveils Tata policy

HYDERABAD: Survival of the quickest. No sooner had the Tata Motors announced its decision to pull out its Nano car project from Singur in West Bengal than the State Government came out with a new automobile policy to entice the Tatas to set up shop in Andhra Pradesh.
Though the government claims the policy has not been announced for Tata Motors’ Nano project, officials admit in private that it is meant to please Ratan Tata as Chief Minister Rajasekhara Reddy is particular that AP should beat other States in this race for Nano.
Under the new policy unveiled by Industries Minister J Gita Reddy here on Saturday, any automobile company with an investment of more than Rs 4,000 crore would be eligible for full reimbursement of VAT for a staggering 21 years.
The government has studied automobile policies of neigbouring Tamil Nadu and other States before finalising the policy. ‘‘The idea is the State should get not only investments but also employment for its citizens,’’ she said.
Sources say the government is ready to offer more incentives like rebate in power tariff, once the Tata Motors gets ready to set up the plant.
The State Government has also renewed attempts to open a channel of communication with the automobile major since Karnataka and Maharashtra are also in the race. The officials are trying to fix an appointment with the top brass of the Tata Motors’ management to sell the AP package to them.
The Industries Department is confident that it would be able to get the project because unlike other States, it believes, it has an added advantage in the form of Caparo Engineering, which has already taken 1,000 acres in the Nayudupet SEZ in Nellore district. Caparo Engineering, which makes automobile parts, has signed an agreement with the Tata Motors to supply inner steel panels for Nano cars.